Everyday English: Getting to Grips With the Basics of the Language
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transform a short phrase like This is it into an expression of awe, error or amazement – This is it! While used rather promiscuously today, the exclamation mark is irreplaceable in situations where it conveys a great sense of immediacy. It can be used after a command: ‘Run and fetch the doctor!’ After a warning: ‘Never think of doing that again!’ To convey urgency: ‘We need boiling water – now!’ To express strong emotion: ‘May they always be happy!’ Surprise: ‘No!’ It has also been said
melted – we should visit your mother.’ ‘You’ll be home for dinner tonight – won’t you?’ ‘Some people enjoy champagne – others prosecco.’ It is noticeable that dashes as well as giving more balance, can lend a greater weight to the statements: when the snow has melted, definitely not now; not sure you’ll be home for supper, but hope so. They often appear in older texts when a sentence or word is left incomplete, as a longer dash (or ‘em rule’): ‘We shall go no further with the —th than
everyday English equivalent. It is sometimes imperative to use specialist terms when we write, but this depends on whom we are writing for. If we are writing a report for our colleagues, we can be fairly certain that they will understand the professional language that we use. If, however, we are writing for a more general audience, we need to be aware that they will not necessarily be familiar with our specialist terms. One person’s myocardial infarction is another person’s heart attack.
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the correct versions: ‘You’ll have to move quickly if you want to catch the train’; ‘He crept timidly through the city’; and ‘You did well.’ Pronouns: His and Hers Personal A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun – for instance, to indicate someone or something already mentioned. The most commonly used pronouns where the pronoun is the subject of the verb (that is, the person or thing that carries out the action), are I, you (singular and plural), he, she, it, we, they, as in ‘He took